Sifteo Game Cubes


3 of 5 stars
What’s this?

A novel idea in digital entertainment: Sifteo cubes are small, playful computers with full-color displays that wirelessly connect to your computer. The cubes are aware of one another’s presence and react differently based on proximity, arrangement and motion. They’re designed as a platform, so they can run a number of software games from Sifteo and presumably from third-party developers in the future. In a way they’re like consoles (albeit far less powerful than most) that have been freed from the console form factor.

It’s a great idea, especially for kids because they’re not just another screen. I haven’t gotten to play with the cubes yet myself, but in theory the fact that they’re highly touchable objects that are intended to be continually moved around gives them a physicality that’s entirely absent in the delicate nature of consoles, laptops, desktops and even tablets. That’s a small but important step forward in how we interact with digital media.

Unfortunately, Sifteo warns that the wireless dongle can pose a choking hazard for small kids and that “very rough handling may damage or destroy” the cubes themselves. The recommended minimum age for these toys is six years old, which makes my daughter, who is all of sixteen months, too young for them. It’s a shame because they really seem perfect for her; she responds viscerally to all manner of digital toys. Read more here.



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